Saturday, April 27, 2013

Massa

This recipe comes from my mother in law. Ilda unexpectedly passed away last year, right before Easter. One of our favorite memories was of her making her sweet bread in the kitchen. We thought the recipe for the world's best sweet bread (no joke!) was gone forever. 
While sifting through her stuff, we found an old address book. We quickly skimmed it and got to the last page of the book, and there it was. The Holy Grail-the recipe. 
With the help of my mother we tackle this now on the anniversary of her passing and on Easter. It's like she's watching and making sure it's coming out currently. We even use her old sweet bread pans. It comes out correct every time. 
Thanks for always looking out Ilda. And now, I'm sharing it with you. 

 Massa da Ilda


5 lbs of flour (if you can get either 5 roses or Santa Isabela, if you can’t find, you can use Pillsbury or King Arthur) 
12 eggs
5 cups of milk 
5 cups of sugar
3 packets of rapid yeast 
2 bars of butter
3 tablespoons of Crisco 
3 lemon rinds 
1 tablespoon of salt 

Put your yeast in a bowl with a tablespoon of sugar and 2/3 a cup of warm water. Mix until dissolved and set aside. 
While you wait for the yeast to rise beat the eggs with the sugar. 
Boil your milk with your lemon rinds, butter and crisco. When the milk boils take off the heat and put it in a ice bath (the pot) until it’s cooled enough to work with but not cold. 
Put your flour in a LARGE (and I mean it) bowl start mixing the milk mixture, sugar mixture and yeast a little at a time. Slowly incorporating it all together. 
Keep kneading. Knead until everything is well mixed. Fold your dough from top to bottom, then left to right, and right to left, then bottom to top…creating a square. Then do it again from the corners you have created. Put some flour on top (just a little) and dish towel on top of it. Place in a warm location and cover with a thick blanket. 
After one hour, take it out and do the folding technique again. Let sit until it doubles in size. Will rise from the top of the bowl, that is totally normal. Once completely down in the large bowl put it in smaller pans that you will be cooking them in. SPRAY THE SIDE OR IT WILL STICK!

 Once you have separated the dough out, cover again, and let them double in size, or fill the pans, again. Once done. Create a slit on the top and egg wash as you put them in the oven. Cook at 300 degrees for 40 min and check it. If it need more time, that’s fine. All ovens are different.

Please enjoy, and say a prayer from Senhora Ilda before you start, it's the extra love that you need :)


24 comments:

  1. My grandmother (from the Azores) made Masa- all the time but always as Easter. We could not run around her house if her Masa was rising! She said a prayer as she was kneading it- "may my bread rise just like Jesus rose from the dead" of course in Portugese! No one else has kept the tradition and baked it since then. She insisted on King Arthur flour. I don't even know if it exists in NC. Thanks for the memory!

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  2. Does this use bread flour or all purpose?

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    1. Bread or all purpose flour works. The bread flour makes a softer spongy dough

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  3. Is 5lbs of flour correct? That seems like a lot of flour - it's more than an entire bag...

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  4. this recipe is very authentic and the proportions very similar to mine, so I will attempt to answer some posed questions. FIrst, the number of breads it will make will depend on the pan size, but for this amount I would estimate about 6 large breads (9 inch cake pans) or about 8 loaf pans. Second, the whole boil and then chill is silly when all you have to do is bring that milk to about 110 degrees in the first place. Do have everything else at room temperature though, especially the eggs. That rising that happens after the breads are panned is going to take quite a while and be very dependent on the temperature of the house. In the summer heat, this might take 4 hours or so, and in mid winter 10-12, so be prepared for that. I would suggest to anyone trying this for the first time to plan on making 1/3 of the recipe and figuring on 2 large loafs or 3 in loaf pans because this will not be an easy recipe and will require some patience along the way. I prefer King Arthur all purpose flour for my bread, but in a pinch, Gold Medal or Pillsbury is fine, but you might need to add a little more as they seemed to be milled more finely.

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  5. note: some regions of the Azores do not use the Lemon flavoring. Notably, very few villages in Sao Miquel use it, but almost all do in Terceira. Use it or not depending on your preference.

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  6. May I assume 2 bars of butter is 1/2 a lb?
    When is the salt added?
    Looks like a traditional recipe I'd love to try.

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    1. P.S.
      The salt is not used in any recipe for Portuguese bread I've ever seen. Is this a typo?

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  7. A whole bar of butter is 454g are you using 2 of these in this recipe?

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  8. hello from Canada :) i am reasking a question about the whole bar of butter, is it s full bar or the small 1/4s?

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  9. Ok to answer all questions. 2 bars is 1/2 lb. Of butter.
    Yes salt. It brings out the sweetness.
    I am from Sao Miguel and both sides of my family and my husband's family, also from Sao Miguel use lemon. It's personal choice. But trust me, it's better.

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  10. Thanks for the great recipe. Just made this for the first time today and it's delicious!

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    1. Thank you for making the recipe. The Massa comes out so good and soft it's an amazing recipe

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  12. I am in Canada and used Five Roses. I have been looking for the perfect recipe for a light and fluffy massa. I tried this recipe for Easter and the results were out of this world. Needless to say it went very quickly. Thank you Sra Ilda and for sharing this keeper recipe. 🐇🐣

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  13. Note: The mistake I had made for years, the dough should be a bit wet and sticky and very easy to manage, not like your traditional bread dough. Happy baking everyone 🍞

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  14. How many cakes this recipe makes? Thank you

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    1. I think it was 6-8 depending on size. Wish I could post a picture. It was really good.

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